Transitioning to the work-from-home, entrepreneurial lifestyle is one of the most liberating and fulfilling experiences which anyone can undergo. At the same time, however, it’s far from easy, and some of the benefits may take quite some time in appearing.
While someone working remotely for a conventional company, in a full-time capacity, will be able to sidestep many of these potential issues, they will also sacrifice some of the independence that freelancers and solopreneurs benefit from.
As the saying goes, with great risk comes great reward.
Here are several tips that all aspiring freelancers and solopreneurs should be mindful of when first setting out.
Free up your finances and put aside major savings
As you’ll often read in many business advice columns and books, you need to spend some money to make money. For someone setting out on a solo home-based venture, the issue of money is even more critical.
By striking out on your own, you become completely liable for all of your own day-to-day living expenses, for your health coverage, for pension, holiday fund, and so on. There is no employer providing you with these benefits, or a regular monthly wage that you can depend on.
What’s more, there’s no knowing how long it’ll take you to get your business up and running and to make a profit off of it. It may even be the case that you have to abandon, or radically modify, your original business strategy down the line and re-focus to achieve success.
For this reason, freeing up your finances and putting aside some major savings is essential. You could sell a house quick, eBay various belongings, or simply remain in your current role and commit to saving much of your income until you’re ready to strike out on your own, in order to achieve this.
Set up a dedicated office area
Procrastination and lack of focus can come easily when you’re working in the same environment where you relax, sleep, and eat your breakfast still in your pyjamas.
Mastering your mindset and creating the sense that you’re in “business mode” is essential to succeeding as a home-based worker.
One of the best ways of achieving this clear divide between “work” and “home” life is to set up a dedicated office area in your home, which you use only for work.
This could be as straightforward as having a desk in one corner of your living room which you work at, or, ideally, it could be a fully dedicated room, kitted out with home-office essentials.
Prioritise marketing and networking above all else
Assuming you already have the necessary skillset for pursuing your business plan, the most important thing you can do at the outset, bar none, is to prioritise your marketing and networking.
A professional website is a must, and a multi-pronged marketing strategy, including email campaigns, cold-calling, paid adverts, and networking events, is essential.
Until you get regular clients and find that your business profitable, your job is getting the attention of prospects and positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your area of focus.